99.998% of estate agent marketing materials do not work?

So how exactly should you go about getting more stock? Mass leaflet drop? Well, let me tell you a story about a conversation I had with another agent last week. He had been reading what I said, but his bosses still thought a mass leaflet drop was the best way to get more business for the agency. “What sort of success did you get?” I asked, to which he replied, “Well we dropped 10,000 leaflets and got ten market appraisals from it?”. “How many came on to the market?”, to which said, “Two, and before you ask, we have sold one”.

On the face it, at a total cost of £574 plus VAT …. made up £400 delivery costs (it was that cheap because the leaflets were delivered with the regular kebab and pizza leaflets and the agency bosses thought £800 to have delivered individually was a bit pricey) and £89 in printing costs and £75 to have the design made up the agencies logo .. for a return of a £4k fee wasn’t bad at all .. or was it?

Two free valuations from 10,000 leaflets is a 0.002% success rate .. which means it is 99.998% failure rate .. sorry free valuations don’t pay the wages. I mean, if was being picky, if that second property didn’t sell, the success rate would only be 0.001% .. sorry spending nearly £600 to get one sale is pretty expensive if you ask me.

You see, there are 17 agents in Grantham (I am sure you have just the same, if not many more in your own town my fellow blog readers). The biggest question in estate agency is this, ”When someone wants to sell their property, how do you get yourself on the ‘Which three agents should I call for a free valuation’ list?” If you are dropping 10,000 leaflets, the law of averages mean it will the door mat the very day someone needs to sell their property. If you want to grow your agency business, the bottom line is this … you need more free valuations and market appraisals.

You could offer 0% fees, you could say properties wanted and landlords wanted .. but surely that is what every agent does isn’t it? Day in, day out … it’s like groundhog day in ‘estate agency and lettings land’

Like I said a few days ago, You can’t expect to grow your agency by being a better agent than your competitor agents in town. Even if your agency is arguably better than the competition, “better” is subjective (ie based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions).. Instead of simply trying to be better, you need to be different. .. and that starts with your leaflet.

Why do you agents only start leafleting the month free valuations dry up? .. then drop it as soon as a few free valuations come through the door? Why, because it’s boring.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the tedious process of nurturing potential house sellers to a steady stream of free valuations automated for you? … oh and the best bit, you get to choose the areas or housing estates in your town you want more properties to sell in?

Your leaflet, which would be drip fed just to the housing estate or area would always be relevant to the potential home owner, in fact they would look forward to receiving it. Why? Becuase the leaflet just takes about the property market in that housing estate, month in, month out. Drip campaigns are automated processes that send a set of highly interesting content to homeowners. They don’t talk about how wonderful you the agent is, what services you offer, what fee you charge (because if I am not selling, it’s irrelevant whether you are charging 0% or 2.5%).

What is that content, that is so interesting, so memorising, that when they, the property seller wants to sell in 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and they need a free valuation, the name of your agency is already there in their head? Think about it – your world stops when you see a house likes yours on your estate/area .. why? … because everyone is obbessed with the value of their property .. so that is what we talk about…. the property market in just that housing estate .. month in, month out. Stuff similar to this ..

Remember, if you want to sell or let more property in your agency, you have to get the name of your agency in the head of the house seller or landlord BEFORE they need an estate or letting agent. Your job is not to bang on about you or your firm, your job is most certainly not to close the sale. Your job is to to amplify interest, generate interaction and spread your interesting thoughts to the people (landlords and potential property sellers) who need to hear it, at the same time you build trust.

You will rarely achieve this with one fell swoop with one leaflet, so be prepared to drip your way through countless swoops until you’ve earned the privilege of engaging with the audience you seek. ..and the success rate?

Remember the story of the agent from South East agent that mistakenly addressed (IT cock up) the envelopes of the third edition of his newsletter …. 310 newsletters he sent out, all with the wrong postcode. Next day 30 people rang .. yes 30 people rang up? Why? to ask him to correct the postcode as they were all worried they whilst they were lucky to receive this one, they wouldnt receive the next one if the Postcode was wrong again. Just thinka minute, how many people would miss you sending them a ‘buyers waiting’, ‘landlords wanted’, ‘nosalenofee’, ‘halfprice fees’ leaflets?

Christopher Watkin

I teach, guide, support, mentor, consult, counsel, partner many hundreds of UK Estate and Letting Agents in their quest to grow their estate and lettings agencies business. Old school techniques of touting, landlords wanted leaflets, ring us for a free valuation, we have sold this in your street leaflets don't work anymore. There are too many competitor agents .. meaning cheap fees are epidemic, overvaluing is almost a norm to get the stock and don’t even mention about the online/hybrid threat. So a few years ago, I set about looking around the UK and spotted that certain agents (not many mind you) in certain towns were still seen as the ‘go to person on property’, the person the newspaper editor rang up every week for a comment and I looked at what they did and they were doing some thing quite remarkable…. Only one thing but they were doing it so well .. and reaping the reward in terms of decent listings and decent fees, happy staff, decent sales pipeline and exchange income, managed lettings portfolios in the many hundreds .. but more importantly, they really enjoyed the job… they enjoyed getting up in the morning and people looked up to them Over 400 agents around the UK are on a mission to change the way our Estate and Lettings agency profession is perceived and looked upon, doing it town by town, city by city. I guide these 400 agents, teach them, mentor them and support them to be seen in a different light, to be seen as the ‘go to person for property’, actually be the ‘local property expert’ and prove it. Christopher Watkin 07950 147 572 christopher@christopherwatkin.co.uk

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